Modi govt using I-T dept for political conspiracies: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
BJP however dismissed Congress’ allegations of “vendetta” and said the IT searches were aimed at tracking tax evaders.india Updated: Aug 02, 2017 15:23 IST
Hitting out at the Modi government over the I-T searches against his senior minister, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday alleged it was a politically motivated action to silence the voice against the BJP and vowed not to bow down to such “intimidation.”
Siddaramaiah accused the Modi government of using the Income Tax Department for its “political conspiracies”.
The Income Tax Department conducted searches at multiple properties related to senior minister DK Shivakumar, who was overseeing the stay of 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at a resort near in Bengaluru, in connection with a tax evasion case.
“I-T raids targeting energy minister DK Shivakumar is completely politically motivated and central government’s role behind it is well known,” Siddaramaiah said in a statement.
He said, “It is not right on the part of central government to use I-T department for its political conspiracies. We will not bow down to such intimidation.”
Union minister Prakash Javadekar however dismissed Congress’ allegations of a “vendetta” and said the IT searches were aimed at tracking tax evaders. “Nothing has been done as vendetta. No Gujarat MLA has been summoned, investigated. No Gujarat MLA staying there has been raided. The raided man is the Karnataka minister, nothing to do with Gujarat,” the HRD minister told reporters.
Shivakumar, who hails from the powerful Vokkaliga community, has considerable influence in Bengaluru Rural and neighbouring Ramanagara districts. He is also the Congress’ propaganda committee chief ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls.
According to norms, during such raids, I-T officials should obtain help from local police, Siddaramaiah said, adding “by violating rules, CRPF staff were used”.
“Let I-T officials conduct raids and investigation by following rules and let people know the truth. Instead, if such raids are conducted with political vengeance, people will teach lesson in the days to come,” he said.
“I-T raid is being used as a tool to silence the voice against BJP. This is anti-democratic,” he said.
Shivakumar has been brought to his city residence for further inquiry by IT officials from the resort, where he was staying along with Gujarat Congress MLAs who have been camping here since Saturday last.